When we think of moving abroad, particularly to a Spanish-speaking country, we become nervous and intimidated at the daunting idea of having to learn a foreign language. For most baby boomers, the thought of learning Spanish is daunting or seemingly impossible.
The other day I was complaining to one of my daughters about Facebook and the constant changes. “I really don't want to have to learn all the tech stuff. Why can't things be simpler?” I moaned. Her response was, “Dad, no one is asking you to be a programmer or to use complicated programs. But you do have to learn enough to get by. So stop complaining and just do it.”
Playing with language should be enjoyable. After all, it's a hobby not a chore. And that's exactly how I approach teaching Spanish. You can dabble in it or get serious about it but you should always be enjoying yourself. For instance, I paint pictures in my spare time, but I don't want to go to art school and become a renowned artist. I just want to dabble with my paints for the pleasure of it.
I grew up on a ranch in Winslow, Arizona, with Spanish all around me. I absorbed it by osmosis and used it on my first South American adventure...to Argentina. I loved Spanish but it was only when I traveled to Argentina that I discovered I loved teaching. A doctor friend there asked me to help him with his English. We made so much progress that I was soon teaching his friends. And that was the start of my language-teaching career.